The Wire


Technologically enhanced sounds with Meta Gesture Music CD

With their May issue all Wire subscribers will receive a compilation of technologically enhanced experimental music, which will also feature at a special performance at London's Rich Mix on 31 March

Tucked inside their copies of the forthcoming May issue of The Wire, all our subscribers will find an exclusive CD and download containing the results of five years' worth of research into new musical instruments and interfaces. Titled Meta Gesture Music: Embodied Interaction, New Instruments And Sonic Immersion, the anthology features musicians who crossed paths during Meta Gesture Music, a research project which ran between 2012–17 at London’s Goldsmiths College in order to explore new tools and techniques for experimental music making, from live computer coding to using bike lights and solar panels as instruments.

The compilation contains new tracks by Goldsmiths professor of media computing Atau Tanaka, both solo and in duet with composer/pianist Sarah Nicolls, as well as Tom Richards performing on his Mini-Oramics set up, Kaffe Matthews making music with sharks in the sea, xname amplifying electromagnetic fields, Laetitia Sonami performing on her patented Spring Spyre, plus Leafcutter John, Renick Bell & Steph Horak, Dane Law, and Ewa Justka.

If you're not already a subscriber to The Wire, fret not: just take out a new subscription this month and we'll send you a copy of the CD too.

Meanwhile, many of the musicians involved in the Meta Gesture Music project will be performing at a special concert at London's Rich Mix on 31 March.

Safe As Milk has been cancelled

The weekend festival due to take place at Pontins holiday camp this April has announced it will not go ahead

Safe As Milk Festival has announced that its first edition will not be going ahead due to lack of ticket sales. Organised by Graham Thrower (alt vinyl) in partnership with Lee Etherington (Tusk festival), the three-day event made its first announcement last October, and was set to feature a whopping line-up that included Actress, Anna Meredith, Ata Kak, Princess Nokia, Gaika, Carla dal Forno, Circle, Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force, Moor Mother, Shirley Collins, The Residents, This Is Not This Heat, Dopplereffekt, Nurse With Wound, Grouper and many others.

“We are very sorry to announce that we have had to take the decision to cancel Safe As Milk Festival,” reads the statement on their website. “Despite the widespread excitement about the event, we’re sorry to report that ticket sales have not reached a level to make the event viable so, despite our best efforts, we have no other option but to cancel.

“We would like to apologise to all the customers, artists, partners and suppliers that have been let down by this situation. We felt we should take this decision now in the hope of minimizing inconvenience to all involved.

“We would also like to thank the many people that have worked with us on trying to make Safe As Milk happen and the many of you that have shown such enthusiasm for the festival.”

For instructions on how to get a refund, visit their website.

Peckham's Balamii radio station has started a booking agency

At just over two years old, the South London station has launched an agency to help support its hosts

South London's online radio station and app Balamii has started a booking agency. This new arm to the station comes three years after founder James Browning launched Balamii as an events series, and just over two years since the station first went on air. Its hosts include Touching Bass's Alex Rita, the positive femme identity collective BBZ, Crackstevens, The Square and LV.

“I set [Balamii radio] up because it's always been my dream to run my own radio station. I've been doing events since I was 15 so it was a natural progression. It's grown from literally nothing to what it is today,” explains James. “I've decided to start the booking agency to support everyone who's part of the Balamii team. It kind of makes sense to start an agency as there's a great body of people coming through. Also it'd be great to help people get more paid bookings.”

The station streams live daily from its Peckham home on Rye Lane and there is also an IOS App so you can listen direct via your phone. “That was actually the first thing I made for Balamii,” he points out. “Before the studio was built I used to go round recording people and putting the mixes I got up on that.”

You can check out the Balamii roster over on their website or email the station direct. You can also listen live via this link.

A new Barbican exhibition will explore science fiction from a multidisciplinary angle

Into The Unknown will include Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason’s new score inspired by Andrei Tarkovksy’s Solaris, and a two-channel video installation from archive collective Soda_Jerk featuring Sun Ra, Kool Herc and others

This June, London’s Barbican Centre launches Into The Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction. The exhibition of art, design, film and literature, curated by historian and writer Patrick Gyger, will explore science fiction as an experimental genre. It’ll include more than 200 books, original manuscripts and typescripts, contemporary and existing art works, 60 film and TV clips, unseen footage, adverts, concept art, film props, comics, video games and robots.

Australian duo Soda_Jerk will present Astro Black, a two-channel video installation with a focus on Sun Ra’s theories of Afrofuturism and featuring footage of Kraftwerk, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. Plus Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason’s score inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1973 film Solaris will be performed with Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia, plus video accompaniment by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson.

Into The Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction runs from 3 June–1 September.

Memorial event announced for PSF Records’ Hideo Ikeezumi

Masaki Batoh has organised a concert remembering the man whose label championed the Japanese music underground, with proceeds going to his family

A concert commemorating PSF Records founder Hideo Ikeezumi will take place in Tokyo in June. Ikeezumi, who passed away on 27 February, was central to the Japanese underground music scene, releasing more than 200 titles through his PSF label. Releases on PSF helped countless Japanese musicians gain international recognition; and Ikeezumi’s Tokyo based Modern Music record shop was the go-to place to find the most interesting music emerging from the underground.

The event, happening at Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe on 25 June, was organised by The Silence’s Masaki Batoh, formerly of Ghost, and all proceeds will go to Ikeezumi's family. Artists confirmed so far include Keiji Haino & Kazuo Imai, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Ché-SHIZU, Masaki Batoh & Kazuo Ogino, Maki Miura & Rei Yokoyama, High Rise guitarist Munehiro Narita, Makoto Kawashima, À Qui Avec Gabriel, Keiko Higuchi & Louis Inage, Hasegawa Shizuo, .es, Reizen and Go Hirano.

A compilation of unreleased tracks by PSF artists was in the process of being compiled at the time of Ikeezumi's death. The project will still go ahead, released by Disk Union/DIW on a date yet to be confirmed.

“We hope that you will look forward in anticipation for this final PSF release, rich with psychedelic rock, acid folk and free music. Ikeezumi-san may have floated free from the bonds of this world, but I am confident that he too will be looking forward to its release. And I pray that we may hear once more his smiling, well-salted criticism of our efforts," declares a joint statement from PSF artists.

Psychedelic Speed Freaks: Hideo Ikeezumi Memorial Concert will take place on 25 June, starting at 3.30pm, at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo. Advance 3000 yen; door 3500 yen (plus drink).

Der Plan return after 25 years

The core line-up of Moritz Reichelt, Kurt Dahlke and Frank Fenstermacher have reunited to record their first album in a quarter of a century

Düsseldorf electronic group Der Plan have reunited after a 25 year hiatus. Co-founders Moritz Reichelt aka Moritz R and Frank Fenstermacher plus longtime member Kurt Dahlke aka Pyrolator have recorded a new album called Unkapitulierbar for summer release.

Translating as Uncapitulable, the title signals both “continuity and unbrokenness”, say Der Plan. The outfit did reappear in 2003 as Der Plan v4.0 under Moritz R, who recorded Die Verschwörung (2004) with Achim Treu and Fuzzy Love's JJ Jones. They also cropped up as Der Plan v5.0 in the virtual realm of Second Life, where Moritz R aka Mo Eriksen and two new members Popeye 235 Papp and Miss Moni Duettmann performed a surprise gig on Pangaea Island.

But, say Der Plan proper today, they were inspired to get back together after their first actual real world gig in nearly 25 years happened at the 50th birthday celebrations of Andreas Dorau, whose 1981 Neue Deutsche Welle breakthrough hit “Fred Vom Jupiter” was released by Der Plan’s Ata Tak label (as was Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft’s debut album, and music by A Certain Frank, SYPH and Dahlke’s Pyrolator, among others). The reactivated Der Plan recorded Unkapitulierbar in just three weeks at Pyrolator's Ata Tak Studio Berlin. “This time the music was created on the basis of ideas and lyrics,” says Moritz R. “Earlier, we often played improvised sessions and later added lyrics to it. One could say that in the meantime we have become something like songwriters.

“It worked incredibly well,” he concludes.

Listen to Unkapitulierbar’s “Lass Die Katze Stehn”:

Unkapitulierbar will be released by Bureau B on 23 June

The Radiophonic Workshop releases its first record since 1985

Burials In Several Earths is a brand new work by the BBC's electronic soundtrack architects

The Radiophonic Workshop has finished its first new album since 1985. A series of synthesizer improvisations called Burials In Several Earths, it will be released by their own imprint Room 13. Original members Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dr Dick Mills and Paddy Kingsland plus long-time associate Mark Ayres worked together on the project.

“The improvisation was done blind – with no preconceptions nor any real start point,” declare the group in a statement announcing the release. “We wanted to see what happened if we allowed people to react together with their machines in a very unplanned and spontaneous way. The computers and sequencers were switched off and it led to a very human interaction between all of us. It is important that we maintained this feeling of spontaneity on the final discs – so minimal editing has taken place. What you hear is what happened in the moment.”

The titles on the album are taken from Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, continuing the Radio Workshop’s link to the book begun by founder member Daphne Oram, who in 1957 framed a section from the novel as a manifesto: “We have also sound-houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter-sounds, and lesser slides of sounds”.

The Radiophonic Workshop announcement explains: “The ideas in the novel seemed to fit the work as well as provide an obvious link to the history of the Radiophonic Workshop itself and the infamous Room 13 where the workshop began its work at BBC Maida Vale.

“The section on the wall of Room 13 was there to remind us that when producers complained or people wrote to The Radio Times saying the music was unlistenable that we were trying to design future sounds – it was an experimental space. The section was chosen to be morale booster you might say.”

You can listen to an excerpt from the album below:

Burials In Several Earths also features Human League’s Martyn Ware, producer Steve 'Dub' Jones and The Chemical Brothers. It will be released by Room 13 on 19 May. Pre-orders available now.

Win tickets to see Nurse With Wound’s April concert in Berlin

NWW’s first Berlin gig in ten years kicks off a new series of church concerts across the city

Curator and producer Manuela Benetton has announced a new series of events happening at various Berlin churches through the year. Kicking off the series will be Nurse With Wound on 28 April, which, aside from Steven Stapleton's sleep gig back in 2011, falls ten years after the last time NWW played in the city. On this occasion Stapleton will be supported by Colin Potter, Andrew Liles and James Hill.

The following show on 31 May sees the German debut of Merzbow, Balász Pándi and Keiji Haino’s trio, who “promise a bizarre, humorous and disorienting live show” of a kind showcased by their recently released album Untroublesome Defencelessness (Rare Noise Records). The church series continues on 19 September with a collaboration between Pan Daijing, Valerio Tricoli and Werner Dafeldecker, plus a performance by Beatriz Ferreyra. The 2017 series follows last year's concerts featuring Japanese improv collective Marginal Consort at St Elisabeth- Kirche, and Terry Riley with his son Gyan at Zionskirche.

To mark these 2017 shows, we're giving away two sets of two tickets for Nurse With Wound's performance on 28 April. Simply answer the following question:

Steven Stapleton creates the artwork for Nurse With Wound album sleeves under what alias?

Please email your answers (with the subject line: Nurse With Wound) via this link.

Tickets for the Nurse With Wound concert, staged in collaboration with Thirty Three Thirty Three, are available here.

[This competition has now closed]

Diamanda Galás returns to London Barbican

At her 19 June concert Galás will be performing works from her two new albums

As reported back in January, Diamanda Galás releases two new albums this month: the studio set All The Way, and Concert At Saint Thomas The Apostle Harlem, documenting her New York performance in May 2016.

To mark their arrival, Galás will be performing material from them at London's Barbican centre in June. Featuring works sung in Italian, German, French, Greek and Spanish, the concert promises performances of death poems by Cesare Pavese and Ferdinand Freiligrath, alongside Galás’s interpretations of music by Albert Ayler, Bobby Bradford, Jacques Brel, Lefteris Papadopoulos and Manolis Angelopoulos.

Listen to “O Death” from All The Way:

Tickets are on sale via Serious. Neil Kulkarni reviewed the two new Galás albums in The Wire 398. Subscribers can read that review via Exact Editions.

Multimedia artist Paul Rooney releases new album

Watch the full-length video for his Futile Exorcise track “Lost High Street”

Multimedia artist Paul Rooney is about to release his first new album since 2000's On The Closed Circuit and his 2007 single “Lucy Over Lancashire”. Called Futile Exorcise, it showcases the short stories, urban myths and more compiled by Rooney through his video, sound and spoken word works, and it includes collaborations with Gregory Cox and Lutine, among others. “I am now going to spend all my time mainly making music for records rather than for gallery spaces,” declares Rooney. “This release has especially written material and material that has previously been made over the last few years for video soundtracks (like “Lost High Street”), or installations, but this material has been thoroughly revamped for the record.

“All of the album tracks have an unstable, absurd revenant narrative within them,” he continues, “whether it is traditional songs about ghosts revisiting lovers/mothers, or my own songs about ghosts playing poker with Satan, haunting toilets or possessing trumpet spit valve saliva. The everyday, and the absurdity of the artistic attempt to fix it in amber, was always a concern with my Rooney songs and my art works, and it still is, though now the everyday world of this new record is an uncanny, haunted one.”

Watch a video for the remix version of “Lost High Street” – a 2008 commission from The Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. It features a tourist video shot from an open-top tour bus in Edinburgh circa 1987, with Rooney narrating a tale of misplaced memories.

Futile Exorcise will be released by Owd Scrat on transparent vinyl and in digital format in April. We originally screened an excerpt of the video back in 2010 and the artist was the subject of a Julian Cowley article in The Wire 311. Subscribers can read that via Exact Editions.